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Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Gaining Executive Buy-in for ePayables

posted by: Susan Fletcher, accounting manager, CryoLife, Inc.

In the first blog post of this series, I briefly described CryoLife’s work to implement the GHX ePay solution, the results we have achieved - including a 94 percent reduction in payment processing fees – and the top three lessons learned on our journey. In this next post, I delve deeper into one of our top success factors – securing executive support for the transition.

When we first approached our CFO and other members of senior management with the idea to phase out customer credit card payments and transition them to ePay, they were skeptical. They felt that customers would push back on the change because we had always accepted credit cards. And with good reason, they didn’t want to disrupt customer satisfaction – they felt it was important to provide customers with whatever they needed – meaning any form of payment.

While we are dedicated to providing excellent customer service, we were spending $1.4M annually on processing fees. Change was necessary. 

One of the things that helped us gain executive support for the project was showing them customers that were already using the ePay program to pay other suppliers. The only reason these customers were still paying us with credit cards was because we were still accepting them. It was a no-brainer to say that if they were using ePay to pay other suppliers, then they could also pay us in this way.

Next we presented our plan for implementation. To ease the transition for our customers we took a phased approach that involved communicating with them on why we were switching from credit cards to ePay, how the solution worked and when the transition would be made. We executed this plan over a five-month period starting in March 2017, with the goal of putting a hard stop on credit card payments by August 31, 2017. The fact that we had a detailed plan and timeline, that took into consideration the customers’ needs – was instrumental in securing C-suite approval. 

In the next blog post in this series, I will describe the steps we took to gain customer buy-in for the ePay program.

For more information on CryoLife’s journey through the successful adoption of the ePay, watch this recorded webinar featuring Susan Fletcher.

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